Column: Online shopping program for veterans


The Defense Department announced a policy change that will allow all honorably discharged veterans limited online military exchange (AAFES) shopping privileges. The shopping benefit will be effective this Veterans Day, Nov. 11, 2017.

While shopping privileges exclude the purchase of uniforms, alcohol and tobacco products, it includes the Exchange Services’ dynamic online retail environment known so well to service members and their families.

“We are excited to provide these benefits to honorably discharged veterans to recognize their services and welcome them home to their military family,” said Peter Levine, Department of Defense official.

In addition, this initiative represents a low-risk, low-cost opportunity to help fund morale, welfare and recreation programs in support of service members and their families quality of life. And it’s just the right thing to do, Levine said.

The online benefit will also strengthen the exchanges online businesses to better serve current patrons. Inclusion of honorably discharged veterans would conservatively double the exchanges online presence, according to DoD officials, thereby improving the experience for all patrons through improved vendor terms, more competitive merchandise assortments and improved efficiencies.

As a nation, we are grateful for the contributions of our service members. Offering this lifetime online benefit is one small, tangible way the nation can say “Thank you” to those who served with honor.

As the November date gets closer, I will write another article on how to go online and start shopping. This is an online privilege to Honorably Discharged Veterans only.

By Phyllis Manley

Contributing columnist

For questions or general concerns for women veterans, you can contact Manley at [email protected].

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